A team member from the Irish Community Air Ambulance has been named Outstanding Fundraiser of the Year at the Charity Excellence Awards.
Lorraine Toner from Westport, who is Head of Community and Donor Engagement at the charity, picked up the award at a gala ceremony at the Clayton Hotel in Dublin.
The Belcarra native has worked in the not-for-profit sector for more than 20 years and joined the Irish Community Air Ambulance in January 2021. She received the award from the Charities Institute Ireland for achieving high-quality fundraising through her innovation, creativity and hard work.
The Irish Community Air Ambulance is based in Rathcool, Co Cork however the charity has a significant presence in Co. Mayo. The organisation now has two Volunteer Emergency Medical Responders, Dr Jason Horan and Dr Lisa Cunningham based in the county. The pair volunteer their time and provide hospital-level interventions at the scene of serious incidents and medical emergencies.
Lorraine says “it is an honour to be named Outstanding Fundraiser of the Year. Working with the Irish Community Air Ambulance and seeing it expanding into communities across Ireland is extremely rewarding. Our ground teams of Volunteer Emergency Medical Responders are now in Mayo, Donegal, Dublin and Wicklow. Our own family used the service in January 2018 so to see it continue to grow is something that I’m very proud of. We have some fantastic supporters right across Ireland made up of former patients, their families, entire communities and businesses. They help us to bring hope to people when they need it most and we are very grateful.”
Micheal Sheridan, CEO of the Irish Community Air Ambulance added, “We’re really proud of Lorraine and her incredible work in fundraising and raising the profile of our organisation. The Irish Community Air Ambulance is a small charity so to receive national recognition from the Charities Institute Ireland is significant. We’re in a position to expand our Volunteer Emergency Medical Responders to more locations because of our fundraisers. We know how important it is to reach people as quickly as possible when they find themselves in an emergency especially in rural parts of the country like Mayo and Donegal. Life can change in an instant and we want to make sure we’re there for people when that happens.”
The Irish Community Air Ambulance latest fundraising campaign is to provide its ground based Volunteer Emergency Medical Responders with advanced lifesaving equipment. The charity has set a target of raising €100,000 to purchase portable ventilators.